Public urged to remain vigilant as PH yet to flatten COVID-19 curve


Posted at Sep 09 2020 09:57 AM

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MANILA - The Department of Health on Wednesday advised the public to remain vigilant and to continue practicing minimum health standards as the country has yet to flatten the COVID-19 pandemic curve.

President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier announcement that the country has flattened the curve may have been based on a study by the UP UP OCTA Research Team, according to Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Dr. Guido David of the UP OCTA Research Team earlier said Metro Manila and Calabarzon are starting to flatten the pandemic curve, as the virus reproduction rate in the two regions is estimated at 0.95, below the threshold of "1."

Currently, COVID-19 reproduction rate nationwide is at 0.87 percent, Vergeire said.

"This kind of forecast, we welcome them so it can guide us. We’re not opposing anything, we’d just like to study it further...We need to study this for a longer period of time, the trends of the cases. It (flattening of the curve) is yet to be determined based on specific factors and we need to study it carefully," she told ANC.

"We are reporting decreased number of cases in the past days but we cannot be complacent at this point, we need to further study it.

May I just encourage all of our citizens to continue on practicing these minimum health standards so we can prevent further infection."

Among factors that need to be considered are the virus reproduction rate, case doubling time, case mortality rate, growth of virus cases, and capacity of the healthcare system, according to Vergeire.

"Maybe when we’ve reached that part that we have lowered down our critical care utilization... maybe when the number of cases has decreased or the growth rate has continued to decrease for 2 incubation periods, that is 28 days for the whole country, then that is that point that maybe we have reached that objective of flattening the curve," she said.

Healthcare capacity nationwide is at 46 percent, more than the ideal number of less than 30 percent, she added.